Devon joins shale firms to cut spending as oil hovers at $30

(Reuters) - U.S. oil and gas producer Devon Energy Corp on Thursday cut its 2020 spending forecast by $500 million or nearly 30% to about $1.3 billion, joining its shale peers as the industry battles a slump in crude prices.

Shale producers, including Occidental Corp and Diamondback Energy Inc, have tightened belt after a price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia and weakening demand due to the coronavirus led a huge drop in oil prices.

Devon said while the spending cut will affect its entire portfolio, assets in the STACK play of Oklahoma and Powder River basin in Wyoming will be the most hit.

“With the challenging industry conditions, we are committed to taking decisive actions to protect our balance sheet and preserve liquidity,” said Chief Executive Officer Dave Hager.

The company said it was prepared to further cut its spending, should the prices remain weak.

Reporting by Shanti S Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli